An executive information system (EIS) provides senior management with easy access to information relevant to their needs. It can spread horizontally across and vertically down to other organizational managers and provide three major types of benefits: information, management support, and organizational support (Salmeron, 2002). According to Salmeron, one key EIS success factor is the fulfillment of users’ information needs. However, the user information requirements determination (IRD) process during the implementation of an EIS remains a problematic exercise for most organizations (Walter, Jiang, & Klein, 2003). This is because IRD is the least understood and least formalized yet most critical phase of the information systems development (ISD) process. This phase is so crucial that many information systems researchers argue that IRD is the single most important stage during an EIS project development process, and if the IRD is inaccurate and incomplete, the resultant system will also be inaccurate and incomplete. Hence, understanding the issues that influence the IRD process of EIS is of critical importance to organizations (Poon & Wagner, 2001). However, little is known about the issues that influence IRD processes during the implementation of an EIS project (Khalil, 2005). Therefore, this article aims to examine key issues surrounding the IRD process during the implementation of an EIS project in a large Australian public-sector organization. The article first reviews relevant literature with respect to IRD and EIS. Key findings and issues identified from the case study are also presented. The article examines these findings and issues in light of these organizations’ IRD practices, and concludes by providing some lessons for EIS project implementation.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Data Mining: It is an information extraction activity whose goal is to search large volumes of data for patterns and discover hidden facts contained in databases.
Data Warehouse: It is a relational database that is designed for query and analysis, and usually contains historical data that are derived from transaction data.
Joint Application Development (JAD): It is a process originally developed for designing a computer-based system. It brings together business users and IT professionals in a highly focused workshop.
Business Intelligence (BI): It is the process of monitoring and analyzing business transaction processes to ensure that they are optimized to meet the business goals of the organization.
Information Requirements Determination (IRD): It is a set of activities used by a systems analyst when assessing the functionality required in a proposed system.
Rapid Application Development (RAD): It is a methodology for compressing the analysis, design, build, and test phases into a series of short, iterative development cycles.
Executive Information System (EIS): It provides organizations with a powerful yet simple tool to view and analyze key factors and performance trends in the areas of sales, purchasing, production, finance, and so forth.